Friday, October 26, 2007

As Hoss Says, Maybe I'm Talking to Myself

Is the title an inside joke? Since no one reads this blog or has botanical expertise, I did my own research to answer the blog questions I submitted below. The tree with nuts appears to be a basswood which is related to the linden tree. The seed pod was an embarrassment as it is probably an Arrowleaf arum seed pod and I certainly should have identified that as it was on the shore of the James River. Since there are numerous versions of this the USDA site is http://main.nc.us/naturenotebook/plants/arrowarum.html .

In case you don't go to the link, more information here:

" The dried root was reportedly used by some American Indians as a flour for making bread, and the dried fruit were cooked like peas. The Nanticoke of Deleware prepared a mixture of grated root and milk which were given to babies for unknown purpose.

In any case, the plant part must be thoroughly dried before eaten because it contains calcium oxalate crystals which causes a burning in the mouth. Cooking does not remove this property well, only complete drying. The root should be harvested in Fall or early Spring, and the fruit in late Summer to Fall.
" and even more interesting here:

" Another name for this plant is Tuckahoe, and i've found interesting and conflicting reasons for this. Some maintain that Tuckahoe was a nickname (derived from native American word) for the lowlands of NC (then considered part of the territory of Virginia) and for the inhabitants of the area. It was also a name used for Powhatan Indians, and sometimes used to denote poor whites. Apparently, the settlers east of the Blue Ridge mountains were called Tuckahoe and the settlers west were referred to as Cowee. Early Appalachia Melungeons (mixed Indian and European) took English surnames and lived among the early Tuckahoes. Apparently in Algonquin the word meant 'round' or possibly 'tubular round dirty plant.'

2 comments:

Val said...

Thats fascinating! You werent talking to yourself, its just that no-one knew the answer!!

Sky said...

Couldn't have helped you if I had been there, so thanks for sharing the answer. Now persimmons, that is a different ballgame. I grew up with them in my yard and loved the ripe, sweet but tangy flesh. I will buy them in the market now when I see them, but I have never found any that taste as delicious as those from my childhood tree.

Isn't it wonderful fun to go exploring and find these mysterious things?!

I finally posted again after a year and am keeping my fingers crossed that Blogger is going to continue to coopperate. :-) I am impressed that you manage 2 journals and one did me in! :-)